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Us 9, Michigan 7, America 7, Steele 5, Ayman 5, Boehner 5, Ann Coulter 4, Geico 4, Washington 4, Obama 4, Ayman Jabbers 3, Rick Snider 3, John Boehner 3, Derrell 3, Marco Rubio 3, Michael Steele 3, Indiana 3, U.s. 3, Joan 2, Emily Jo 2,
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  MSNBC    NOW With Alex Wagner    News/Business. Alex Wagner.  
   Forces driving the day's stories. New.  

    December 7, 2012
    9:00 - 10:00am PST  

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>> joining me today, chief economic correspondent for politico ben white, editor at large for, joe walsh, queen bee and editing manager of the, and buzz ben smith. the labor department delivered a december surprise, which might just alter the debate over the fiscal cliff. despite predictions of stalled job creation in november in superstorm sandy and looming fiscal cliff, the nation added 146,000 jobs last month, and unemployment ticked down to 7.7%. while november's figures are higher than expected, september and october were revised down 16 and 33,000 jobs respectively. chief economists for moody's analytics mark zandi cautions november may see a downward revision but the numbers are a good sign. >> bottom line, feels like the job market is holding firm in the face of sandy and fiscal
cliff concerns, so that's good news. >> surprising exactly no one, the white house and republicans had different spin on the numbers. >> if congress does address the problems that it needs to address, concerning the fiscal cliff, if we have reasonable resolution type of programs that the president has been proposing to support the economy in the short run, get us on a sustainable fiscal path in the long run, protect the middle class we're going to see progress in this economy. >> the risk the president wants us to take increasing tax rates will hit many small businesses that produce 60 to 70% of the new jobs in our country. that's the whole issue here. >> on the fiscal cliff front, no new deals or concessions made public, but "the new york times" reports the dynamic has changed. at the request of speaker boehner, senate leaders and nancy pelosi have been dismissed from the negotiating table. leaving just the speaker and the president to hammer this one out. today vice president biden is hosting middle-class families at the white house, continuing to pressure congress to strike a
deal on tax rates below 250,000. yesterday, the president struck a hopeful note with a middle-income family in virginia, while maintaining a hardline on negotiations. >> the message that i think we all want to send to members of congress is, this is a sovble problem. i'm not going to sign any package that somehow prevents the top rate from going up for rate at the top 2% but i remain optimistic we can get something done for that is good for families like this one and that is good for the american economy. >> but the clock is ticking. with just two full weeks before christmas to go. joining me now from washington, the man with all the answers, cnbc's ayman jabbers. it's always so good and important to have you on the show. >> thanks. >> in general, but on days like today, where the numbers come out and we all think to ourselves, is this everything or
nothing? what do these numbers mean and what do they portend for the fiscal cliff negotiations? >> it strengthens the president's hand. it was a good number, not great, because of some of the revisions we saw to previous months but the president can tout a record of job creation, so that's encouraging. the unemployment rate went down to 7.7% for some of the wrong reasons. a lot of people left the labor force. that's not something you want to see. you want to see more people coming into the labor force, encouraged that they have a chance at getting a job. nonetheless, 146,000 jobs created. that's good for the president. gives him a chance to go out there and have some momentum going into the fiscal cliff talks. i was just at the speaker's press conference down the hall at the top of last hour and he said look, there's no progress being made and his call with the president was just more of the same and the staff talks behind the scenes yesterday were more of the same. he didn't give us a whole lot of optimism going into this weekend here, alex. >> here's my question. i have many questions, but when we get these numbers, this is always confusing to me.
last time we talked there was discussion on twitter and concern circles the bls was populated by about a socialist revolutionaries cooking the numbers for obama. those numbers have been revised downwards. may happen for november. why do analysts keep getting them wrong and when you think about the unemployment rate, theoretically we want it to go down but as you're explaining when it's going down that's not actually a good sign for the american people. down is bad, up can be good except when it's bad. the bcs is reliable except when they get it wrong which they always do. the bls does this on a trailing three-month basis. they actually recalculate the previous months all the time and they're constantly revising the data to show what happened as they get a clearer picture now of what happened in previous months. so now we're seeing these revisions downward. a couple months ago we saw revisions upward. this is a moving target and it's now been -- this economic data point has been taken into the
political debate and politicians want to pounce on it but it's squishier of a number than politicians want and that's why you see some of this conspiracy theory stuff on the right last time just before the election when you saw a lot of people who just didn't believe the number, didn't want to believe it, but i think the growth in this number, the consumer confidence we've seen, some of the good trending economic data is part of the reason why barack obama won this election. consumers, job seekers are basically feeling a little bit better. the trend is good. i think that was the margin of difference here in large part for the president. >> i want to bring in our panel here and ben, you're an expert in all things related to the economy. ayman thinks these numbers have strengthened the president's hand here. i guess continuing in the vain of what's up is down and down is up, in some ways doesn't it sort of hurt the broader argument, though, from the left regarding unemployment benefits and the payroll tax cut? these are parts of the fiscal cliff negotiations we have not
paid a lot of attention to, and also the white house's argument about further stimulus spending, undermined by this notion out there based on these numbers that the economy is recovering? >> yeah. i think that's right. i think the problem with a good number and decline in the unemployment rate it takes away from the argument that the fiscal cliff would be this ultimate disaster, we can't afford to do it, look at these jobs numbers they're terrible, need to move to make sure there's no austerity, no big spending taxes. that argument is less powerful when you see a report like this. to ayman's point, it's right to say that every jobs report can be off by hundred thousand jobs. the trend is 150,000 per month for two years. these jobs reports are almost the same. on consumer confidence that's the most important factor in the fiscal cliff and the trend is decent but today's number terrible. 84 to 72, the fiscal cliff fears are starting to impact the way people spend their money. if that continues into december for the economy, that's a bad sign. focus less on the employment
report than consumer confidence as a factor in the fiscal cliff negotiations. >> these numbers are still too high, yes. we are going in the right direction and that is clear month after month. we have an unemployment crisis in this country. the casey foundation announced this week youth unemployment is higher than it's ever been since world war ii and these young people are out of the job market, staying out of the job market. this impacts them for life. if we were a serious country we would be having a discussion about unemployment. this should not take all the urgency away from that. >> and as ayman said, the numbers sort of -- they don't tell an accurate picture in terms of what's happening with unemployment in the country. it's the lowest in four years, but actually -- >> partly because people -- >> you want the number to be high eer because more people ar in the work force. look at where income is in this country, no means the middle class and working poor are not doing better. if anything, be it's a steady decline downwards. >> it's interesting, when we talk about the fiscal cliff negotiations we focus on the
taxes. kind of the irony of the sandy effect on unemployment is that -- we'll see it over the next couple months. a push/pull that happens. when there's a disaster it's expected to negatively impact unemployment rates but you have a short-term stimulus where the federal government comes in, more fema people coming in, you get a short-term boost in employment because of these disasters. the other thing that will happen with the fiscal cliff is the massive withdraw of government spending and we haven't talked about that as much as taxes. people with less money because of tax cuts going away would have less money to spend into the economy but also the federal government withdrawing federal spending from parts of the economy that are used to getting it, the military, et cetera but other sectors nonmilitary. that's the other piece that could hurt people. >> when we talk about the fiscal cliff and back and forth that is happening between the white house and the hill, i guess i'm confused because on one hand there is a sense that this is all par for the course, they know they're going to get a deal done, it's fine, everything is
good and then there's also this sort of the pr blitz which is, we are very far from a deal. this is what ayman alluded to this, the speaker had a press conference a few minutes ago. david axelrod giving his take and john boehner giving his take. let's take a listen. >> you saying then for pr purposes -- >> the president and the speaker are very fluent in the basic numbers. they've been living with them for some time now. as i said, i don't think that there's a lot of mystery about this. the politics has to be traversed. they've got to get through the rocky shoels of grover norquist. >> well this isn't a progress report because there's no progress to report. the phone call was pleasant, but was just more of the same. >> what do we to make of that. the rocky shoals of norquist versus stalemate. >> i think this feels to me like the theater, feels like ka bookie theater, but the story of
washington once in a while in these performance is somebody knifes somebody else. i think there's -- >> no disrespect to ka bookie but sometimes it's cloak and dagger. >> and there's this fear that maybes this will go off the rails. also i think been lots and lots of hype about -- i mean the metaphor of a cliff, the need to fill cable news hours at times, i think there's times this sense that a catastrophe is about to strike. most people following it closely think it's likely to get resolved. jobs numbers matter a lot less the month after the election. tiny popularity issues are not the central factor here. it's these negotiations between two guys. >> ayman you're inside the capitol dome right now. what is the sense? were you surprised at the speaker's comments no progress, it was a pleasant conversation, which is a good thing, but the fact thats there's no measurable difference from today versus yesterday? >> yeah. when somebody says if washington
they've had a pleasant conversation, that means we got absolutely nothing accomplished but nice to talk to the other guy. i was a little bit surprised because we had heard there was this phone call between the president and speaker on wednesday. yesterday we were told that, in fact, staff negotiations had resumed between obama's staff and the president's -- and the speaker's staff and you saw this very tight coordination of messaging between obama and boehner that indicated they were working together well. then we see this from the speaker today. but after that, the aides came out privately and talked to us and we got some indication that those staff-level talks are going to continue through this weekend. so i think we're seeing a sort of two-track thing. a public negotiation and private negotiation of the staffers. i would still be encouraged but i have a $1 bet here with ben white that says we don't get this deal until after christmas and that we're going to have a little drama between now and then. >> can i respond to a bet. >> a $1 bet is pathetic. >> i don't -- do i look like mitt romney to you. i don't have $10,000 in my
wallet. >> like the guys from trading places. >> he's going to be back on here and when a deal is made there's going to be greenery behind him, closer to christmas, that's how these deals happen, they happen fast at the last minute. >> you think pre-christmas. >> probably 24th, 23rd in there. >> i think after the 27th. >> maybe after the 27th. i think before. because they want to get out of town and don't want to come back. these deals happen at the last minute, when the pressure is the highest. it's an idiotic way to govern ourselves, make the market unhappy but they're going to get out of deal. tax rates will go up. republicans might let a vote go through on a bill that, you know, extends all the middle-class tax cuts, lets the top 2% expire. say it's a democrat bill, democrats mainly supported it with moderate republicans and senate approve that and throw in unemployment benefits and other stuff. >> and john boehner can't afford to say there's progress being made or people will have his head again. he has to say pleasant but nothing going on. >> i don't know. i think if you believe that this is the truth, you and ayman
should do something like if you had mustaches shave them if you lose. >> grow them. >> grow. maybe grow one. >> universal. >> no one wants to see a mustache. >> the mustache karma of david axelrod can be channeled through cnbc's ayman jabbers. >> i'll talk to him about that. >> i checked with ben about that. he will accept payment in pennies if i lose. >> i'm looking forward to it. >> that is downright scrooge-like. ayman jabbers thank you as always for the answers my friend. >> thanks, al sfleex after the break jim demint may have surprised some with his announcement he is leaving the senate to take a more lucrative job. what is not surprising is republicans cannot get along. we will ask former rnc chair michael steele about the grand old party poopers when we come back. [ emily jo ] derrell comes into starbucks
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i think i'm in a more powerful position than a single united states senator. >> as republicans continue their post-election soul searching, news broke yesterday the king of the tea party is leaving congress. jim demint never achieved much legislatively but made himself as a name of a republican king maker, picking winners and losers on primary battles. his track record was decidedly mixed. an early and enthusiastic backer of marco rubio, rand paul, ted cruz, pat toomey and mike lee, all elected to the u.s. senate. he also endorsed candidates including kr
christine i'm not a witch o'donnell, todd legitimate rape akin and richard god intends for you to get raped mourdock. demint couldn't help himself on the way out giving speaker boehner one poke in the eye on the rush limbaugh show yesterday. >> i think it's safe to say boehner is not forcing either of you guys out, right? >> that's pretty true. might work a little bit the other way, rush. >> zing. is demint more of a threat to his party now he's outside the senate? as lbj famously said of jay edgar hoover probably better to have him inside the tent out, than outside the tent in. joining us is former chairman of the rnc, in a red sweater, msnbc contributor, the notorious michael steele. that is a fetching color for you, chairman. >> thank you. ho, ho, hey. >> chairman steele tell us what this departure means for the rnc? everybody is reading this
differently. some saying tea he's going to become a thorn in the side of gop when at heritage, other people are saying get rid of him, let the gop become a party of dealmaking and legislating inside congress. >> i think there's truth to both of those. what's going to be interesting is the interplay between the two. demint is going to be i think a much more vocal, you know, standard bearer if you will outside, using all of the machinations that come with being at top heritage. the think tank aspects, political powerhouse it represents in conservative circles, big events like c-pac and elsewhere. they can throw around weight rhetorically and substantively in the types of things they'll be writing and talking about. within the senate a bunch of folks starting with senator mcconnell who are going thank you, lord. and are looking for that angle that they need to make the kind of deals that the senate is long used to making.
but you will have also, keep in mind, new, fresh tea party type activists coming in. for example, senator cruz, who are going to pick up a little bit of that mantle that demint leaves behind. that will be an interesting dynamic as well. but not as forceful, at least in the short term, as having a demint there would be. >> i have to ask my panel here in new york. joan, when you hear about demint going to heritage foundation, it completely understandable and obvious on one level, on another it's like the gop is at a moment where they need to develop a conservative philosophy and ideology 2.0. what does it portend for that given the fact a conservative hardliner will be at one of their more influential think tanks. >> it was never a think tank. it was an ideology tank. it becomes less of a think tank with jim demint. they want to stay in their little bubble, reinforce their talking points, don't want to do
any soul searching, don't want any new ideas and think that having jim demint at the helm helps them politically. someone very exciting jim demint is leaving and hoping he doesn't let the door hit him on the way out, he was going to be a one-term president, the president is getting ready to be inaugurated again and jim demint is packing up his office. this is a loss in many ways for him. they thinks he will be more powerful but he's going to be talking to a bunch of the same crazy wing nuts and having -- >> wait, joan. >> crazy wing nut wants to get in here. >> no. >> before you respond to that. >> please. >> let me ask you one question, though. >> yes. >> let's take a basic issue, immigration reform. do you think heritage is going to lead on imin i gration reform with jim demint at the hel snm. >> oh, i think that it has the potential to do that, but again, that leadership, that leadership you're talking about in terms of the policy papers and all of
that, should be reflective of where the senate and house leadership and governors, for example, really want this to go. i look over the next couple years for republican governors to step into this breach because they're the closest to the ground, where people are. they get the urgency of the moment because they're having to deal with these issues. we saw what happened in michigan yesterday with the republican leadership and governor there and right to work laws. so this creates a whole other dynamic of conversation that heritage with the demint at the top can put in conservative context. now that's the ideal strategy. i think there is some legitimacy that -- to joan's point short of the name calling. >> crazy wing nut may not be your phrase. >> i'm sorry, mike. >> you know, going to be close to watch to see exactly, given his leadership of this
organization, do they become something nothing more than than a hatchet job for conservatives or are they principled arguments with that strong conservative undercurrent to them. we'll see. >> speaking of crazy wing nuts if we're talking about a potential move to the center, ann cull tour on fox yesterday, saying that the republicans need to understand they lost and make a deal with the president. let us take a listen to the choice piece of sound. >> are you saying then, for pr purposes, that they should give in to obama on the tax rate? >> not exactly. well, yeah, i guess i am. >> you're saying to capitulate to obama who's -- we don't have a revenue problem, ann. >> we lost the election, sean. >> what was that? i mean joy. >> stop making sense, ann. >> we should have led with that. it is like ann coulter is admitting the republicans lost and some deal should be in order. >> when ann coulter is the
sanest voice in your party it might be time to going back to being the wigs. it's a it tough time for republicans. she's right. the republicans at this point are negotiating the terms of their surrender on the tax issue. from a pr standpoint and a real standpoint they can't look like all they care about is defending those top 2% rates. >> absolutely. >> if i can go back to what joan said, i think the problem is that if you look at ann coulter even, feeds into the same thing, people like jim demint may be leaving the senate but it's like the movie "aliens" he's seated the host with the alien baby. >> oh, god. >> all these people there, the ted cruzs, marco rubios who put a nicer package on it, but let ted cruz, even marco rubio, rand paul talk for ten minutes. they will start to sound a lot like some of these people -- the crazies, they have the same beliefs. >> let's for a minute remember, ben, ted cruz is going to be involved with the nrcs. >> yes. >> charged with overseeing the republicans in their bid to retake the senate in any number
of years and as such, is going to have to play ball on establishment politics, right? >> yeah. >> yes! >> yes come. >> tvoice wilderness defending the alien senate. >> hang on to my peeps over here come on. you're right about pa. part of it. you can say and put rand paul and cruz in this right wing ideological death trap, but the fact of the matter is, there's a whole new dynamic that's going to come, that's going to unfold in the senate, largely around the point that was just made. when you've got cruz working with the nrc he's got to keep in mind the goal is to elect senators. you cannot come in with this doctrinaire point of view and applying that across the country. not every senate race is the same. they're not equal. you have to be much more measured and balanced. ann coulter is right.
i've been saying it for a long time. the party has to get in the real. you got your clocks cleaned. step back and assess how you move forward and take your brand, rejuvenate it. you don't have to dumb down your values, walk away from your principles, but make them relevant to the conversation that the country wants to have with this administration and with the leadership in the house and the senate. and if we do that, i think we'll be much better off in the longer term. we're going too get some extra knocks upside the head in terms of what we have to do to get the deal done with the president but that's for the longer term the better move than as was noted by the panel being the party of no again, and standing in the doorway with a checklist on purity. that's just not where america wants us to be. >> but if republicans do nod rate it, what they do is decide to make michael steele happy and these compromises there's a huge park for people like jim demint on the outside attacking that republican leadership that is trying to move to the center. i mean -- >> is that a good thing for the
party? does that prevent them from legislating, do you think? >> it's going to be a huge headache for the republican leadership going forward if they try to strike out a new position on immigration, that's -- very, very kind of tight restrictions immigration view, real minority view even inside the republican party, but they're vocal and organized. you will see the massive internal struggles. >> why marco rubio wasn't for the dream act. they're saying he's a new republican. look at rubio's positions on immigration. he is as hard right as rand paul. he's going to look a little -- >> i'll bet you a dollar on something like this he's going to be up there standing next to barack obama signing a deal. >> the other problem as jim demint is leaving, i'm leaving the senate a better place than when i came in. a senate with more democrats. >> very good point. >> a senate without sharron engle and christine o'donnell. >> do you want a governing party or ideologically pure party. now he's going to be unbound
without any, you know, sort of guides on his statements to say whatever he wants and make it harder for them to have a governing majority in the senate. >> chairman steele, you get the last word here. >> the reality for the party, in light of everything that was just said, is simplies this, you can hang your hat on that ideological hook and stand and stand there and fight for the purity on the mountaintop, but the reality is, elections. and in two years, a lot of folks are going to be up for elections and in four years another presidential and unless you want to be marginalized to the point of ir relevancy you have to recognize where america is, adjust the tone, temperament and come to the table with a stronger, more powerful message that people feel embraced by, not repulsed by in order to be effective. that doesn't mean you dumb down anything or walk away from anything of significant importance in terms of your values. it just talks -- how you talk about them and make them relevant. and the social stuff, will take care of itself. >> which is to say, there will be a gag order on social stuff
from now on. chairman steele, we have to leave it there. >> all right. >> i appreciate the fetching seasonal red, although i'm sure there is a conservative shoutout inherent in the choice of that color, my friend. >> you'll never know. >> thank you, chairman steele. coming up, the great energy debate. chris hayes joins the panel for "up now" up ahead. ♪ you are my sunshine, my only sunshine ♪ ♪ you make me happy when skies are gray ♪ [ female announcer ] you know exactly what it takes to make them feel better. ♪ you make me happy [ female announcer ] that's why you choose children's tylenol. the same brand your mom trusted for you when you were young. ♪ how much i love you [ humming ] [ female announcer ] children's tylenol, the #1 brand of pain and fever relief recommended by pediatricians and used by moms decade after decade. [ humming ]
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happy holidays. duracell with duralock. trusted everywhere. protests erupted inside the michigan state capitol after the republican controlled state house passed legislation that would weaken organized labor. at one point police put the capitol on lockdown barring people from entering. the president of the united auto workers union reportedly one of those locked out. the legislation known as right to work would make it illegal to require most michigan workers to pay union dues as part of a condition of employment. if it passes and republican governor rick snider signs it as promised, michigan a state synonymous with organized labor would become the 24th state in the country to enact a right to work law. democrats assert the republicans were trying to ram through the
bill because the republican's legislative party will shrink come january. the governor said the urgency stemmed from indiana's decision of right to work law this year. >> they've had an increase in business activity, businesses that want to grow and expand in indiana. it's about more and better jobs. >> we had word the president is going to be making a trip to michigan. this is an issue that has dominated the national stage in terms of the fairness argument but the future of organized labor and manufacturing in this country. rick snider making the case it's better for state and state economies to have these right to work laws but if you look at per capita income in 2010 states with the highest per capita income only one in 20 were a right to work state. >> it's totally ideological, it has nothing to do with the economy. it's really interesting that the president just won that state by
about ten points and this is the first thing rick snider. >> why should i be required to join a union? it's always strange you would get a job and be required to have your paycheck lowered by union dues and not make that choice for yourself. >> you get the benefits of their collective bargaining. if they negotiate great working and health benefits you get them. >> and if you look at the overall union membership which has declined rapidly n 1983, 20.1%. in 2011 it's 11.8%. you chart that against the decline of middle-class wages, the noshlg times did a great series of articles. look at compensation from 1947 until 1979, compensation increased 100% in hourly waged, increased 72% and then stagnated and that has tracked in parallel with decline in union membership. >> assault on union. >> everything we believe in this country, your decision to decide
how your money is spent and paycheck distributed. >> but the thing about that argument, mine there's a whole huge complex package of rules around labor, a lot of which, many of which hamper your ability as a worker to participate in a general strike, that's illegal. under these series of bargains they got made in the middle of the country. i mean the argument against right to work is utterly appealing. it is also -- it is synonymous with saying we don't want unions in these work places because -- >> that's the way it's worked. >> it is impossible to have unions in that. >> if you can't force workers to join them. >> no. in this country -- if you can't force workers to join them, outlawed a whole range of tools that workers in europe and other places use to organize, right. there are two sides of the act and all these pieces of legislation. >> i don't know. if i think if your argument is good enough your union is strong and make a better deal for your workers you're going to join people to join.
>> it's always better to free ride. >> we've also expanded the ability of businesses, of corporations to inva against having union organizing. >> and intimidate. >> dessertify unions and intimidate people. what capital wants is the cheapest possible work it can buy. >> look at walmart. a great case. walmart does not pay its workers a living wage, not the minimum, $25,000 a year for going by federal poverty measurements and if they did they would lift hundreds of workers -- >> retail wages used to support a lifestyle. >> you can understand where governor snyder is coming from. sees businesses locating in indiana because of this. >> michigan has a amazing job creation and business relocation record in the last ten years. >> if you just look at how right to work has served workers and states economies, it hasn't served them well. >> michael steele back on -- >> i'm not sure -- >> that's a little unfair.
the main reason mississippi is poor is not right to work laws. >> there's mitigating factors. >> it's interesting. one of the things that strike, the argument itself is a heated argument, but it's also the fact that republicans are doing this now which is when they still have a bigger majority in the state house, i want to play a little bit of time -- of sound from the vp for the uaw who says to do this -- not sound, going to read his words, to do this now is poor timing. labor and management have been cooperating closely in the automobile industry and have really helped the industry recover. michigan is on the rebound and right to work is going to be very divisive. this will add to the divisiveness in the state. that is something that the governor said we can't do this now, it's going to be too divisive and all of a sudden it's getting pushed through. >> the unions played a role in the auto restructure, a positive role. they made many concessions. it's just a ridiculously political thing to do. that's all it is. >> one of the ways in which the republicans are fully exploiting 2010. democrats made a serious calculation not seriously organizing in '10, a lot of
gerrymandering and republicans come in and he want to take these rust belt states way from democrats and one thing is to defend the only tenty i that has enough money to compete with republican money that is unions. >> and organization too. >> and organization. foot soldiers. those are where the white working-class voters that still vote for democrats exist and unions are a big part of that. >> an ongoing debate, one that ben is not satisfied with. >> somebody has to take the other side of this argument. >> you're just devil's advocating yourself through this hour. >> i'm a free market guy. >> we have to go to break. ben smith is leaving us from buzz thank you for joining us today my friend stew thanks for having me. >> after the break, what the frack. the united states has the potential to surpass saudi arabia by oil production in 2020 but as oil companies find new ways to strike black gold they may create small earthquakes along the way. energy potential with chris hayes next on "now." ♪ the weather outside is frightful ♪
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the international energy agency predicts that the u.s. could overtake saudi arabia and russia as the world's largest oil producer by 2020. much of the current energy boom comes from the increasing use of a process known as hydraulic
fracturing or more common name fracking. in which oil and natural gas are extracted by shooting huge quantities of water, sand and chemicals into the ground at high speed to break up shale rock formations. in his state of the union address in january president obama haled the economic benefits warning of potential safety risks. >> we have a supply of natural gas that can last america nearly 100 years. [ applause ] and my administration will take every possible action to safely develop this energy. >> although burning natural gas releases only half as much carbon emissions as coal or petroleum many remain concerned about fracking harmful effects on the water supply, air equality and live stock. the cause has found a number of prominent spokes people. >> people understand that fracking is not safe and no matter what the gas and oil industry tells them, they're not willing to leave a toxic legacy for their children. >> france has banned the practice outright the epa is to
release a report examining its environmental affects. here's chris haze host of "up" for a segment we call "up now." we're going to get a little annoying. >> nailed it. >> the president, you see the sort of internal conflict over fracking. >> yes. >> evidenced by the president at the state of the union. we haves this energy supply, although it's super dangerous. >> i think people, the fracking story is interesting to me for this reason. i think there's a mismatch between the intensity of interest and transformation and revolution that is happening on the ground and the amount of national coverage. there are places all over this country where there is literally one issue, town council meetings, zone boards and that is fracking and the revolution and the economics of energy that the fracking technology has done in natural gas is unprecedented. anything in our lifetime, anything probably in about 100 years, it is completely transforming american energy and the american landscape and i don't think that we niecely have
yet had the national political conversation. >> i think we have a map of the shale deposits in the u.s. massive fracking booms in texas, north dakota, ohio, pennsylvania. it's much of the middle of this country. >> yeah. an there's huge -- i mean what's fascinating about fracking the way it transforms the landscape, texas oil fields are texas old fields and west texas is oil and had the oil industry there for years. places where new fracking deposits and gas deposits are discovered it could be a little league field, a ranch house with about five acres and all of a sudden you are at the center of this very intense extractive industry that ten years ago it was nothing but farm lands and ball fields. >> and part of the problem is, you know, when we have this debate, we know what the economic impacts are. they tend to be good in terms of creating revenue and getting us more dependent on fossil fuels, but the sort of scientific repercussions if you will, the environmental repercussions are sort of unknown and in some part
because companies can put whatever they want into the ground and there's no sort of oversight on that. >> a problem of data transparency. first of all, the ingredients in the fluid that is pushed at great pressure into the ground to force out the natural gas and oil, what's in there, which is mostly sand, water and a little bit of unspecified chemicals are generally not released to the public. we don't know what's in there. all sorts of basic standardized tests that you would run to find out whether the process was safe, what are your air emissions, ground water samples they don't have to do and report and if they have that data they don't release. imagine a universe in which we had a much more radically transparent process in which the data was publicly accessible and debated and have an impurecle debate about its effects but that's not where we are. >> the extent like this to is so many issues, people like hollywood people saying fracking is bad, stop all fracking when the economic benefits are there, the job creation is there.
>> governor ed rendell is -- there are plenty of -- go ahead. >> can we have a more sort of science based and intellectually based argument about, you know, the harmful environmental effects versus the economic benefits and come up with the stuff chris is talking about the disclosure on how it's done. there has to be a mechanism of how to do that. >> a lot is behind the curtain of proprietary information. the second thing about the economic benefits of this, mine one is, it's driving down the cost of electricity and it's killing the coal industry from my perspective someone primarily cared about the climate, that's great. coal is a nasty substance. it's bad for people's lungs, bad for the climate, et cetera. driving costs so low it's crowding out renewables. this other effect that can be bad. in terms of jobs, we have the highest levels of employment in natural gas and oil extraction since 1992. the total jobs in extraction
200,000. not creating a lot of jobs in the industry. >> you're going to have more on your show this weekend, my friend. >> tomorrow. >> a little tease. >> tomorrow there's going to be an in depth conversation of fracking. >> and i understand it all after that? >> all made clear to us as it always is in on "up". >> thank you to ben, joy, chris, catch chris on "up" tomorrow and sunday at 8:00 a.m. eastern. all for now. i will see you back here monday at noon eastern, 9:00 a.m. pacific live from washington, d.c., when i'm joined by the new republic's frank fore, new york magazine's john than chait. before that catch the last word tonight when i will be doing my best to try to fill in for the one and only lawrence o'donnell. do not forget to check out our facebook page for the end of the week montage, at with alex. happy friday to you, andrea. >> same to you. coming up next,s the president and the speaker trying to hammer out a deal.
john boehner says there's no progress. does he mean it? we'll hash it out with david gregory, chris cizilla and the campaign to fix the debt. will governor nikki haley appoint stephen colbert to the senate? just imagine the filibuster. the latest with politico's maggie haberman on the impact of jim demint's departure. is there a military solution to counter weapons in syria. the latest from the white house picture gallery. all that and more coming up on "andrea mitchell reports." two years ago, the people of bp made a commitment to the gulf.
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